Bhuj - Azhar Tyabji

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When a horrifying earthquake in 2001 reduced large parts of the 16th-century city of Bhuj in western Gujarat, to rubble, there was little hope of reconstruction. This book, written five years after that fateful morning, narrates the city’s story of urban development over 450 tumultuous years, revisiting the work of potentates and commoners as they went about shaping its charming, if idiosyncratic outline. Illustrated with pictures and stories obtained from residents, museums, and local organisations in Bhuj, the book combines ethnography, a comment on the relationship between craft and city-building, and a thought-provoking critique of present-day development trends. Rare photographs from the 19th and early-20th century complement the book’s narrative. The book explores the role that the arts have played in city-building, and the prospects ahead to marshal them as instruments of future development. It is a book for citizens and visitors wanting an uncoventional introduction to Bhuj, and a portfolio of evidence for city planners, policy-makers and investors in the city. Published in association with Environmental Planning Collaborative. With contributions to the text from Haresh Dholakia, Umiyashankar Ajani, Naresh Antani, Rahamtulla Jamadar, Pramod Jethi and Prabodh Mankad.